These folks are not “imagining” their symptoms, nor are they “faking it” to gain some perceived advantage in the workplace, at home, or in public venues.
These are individuals with real, chronic physical and behavioral symptoms that they struggle with throughout their day. Their various symptoms can lead to a range of diagnoses, including:
The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal
Very often, those suffering from symptoms relating to these issues benefit from the regular, ongoing companionship of an Emotional Support Animal.
Do you know what is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
Pets have proven to help in reducing stress and anxiety. With the ongoing troubles in our lives, everyone is going through some sort of stress. Emotional support animals are for those individuals who suffer from a mental illness or emotional disability.
How to get an ESA letter?
Only a licensed therapist can write an ESA letter for you. All you have to do is contact a mental health professional. He will assess your condition and see if you qualify for an emotional support dog or any other animal.
To protect the ESA owners and their ESA dog, there are federal laws in the United States.
All you need is a valid ESA registration and you can enjoy the perks of having your companion animal alongside where ever you go. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the ESA owners from any discrimination.
It’s not easy to find a pet housing facility for your animal. According to the Fair Housing Act, no landlord can deny an ESA owner the right to get accommodation.
The same goes for travelling with your animal. According to the Air Carrier Access Act, an ESA owner can enjoy the company of his emotional support animal in the cabin while flying.
Remember, an ESA is not similar to service dogs or a therapy dog. Service dogs are individually trained according to the needs of a person. An ESA just needs to be well behaved.
Why we see more animals in public
A quick and informal survey of your classroom, place of work, hospitals, convalescent facilities, roommates, and family members will show you the percentages of people who seem to function at a higher level when they’re in the company of their pets.
That’s just one reason why we see more and more dogs and cats in public, right alongside their doting owners.
While dogs and cats are typically the most popular emotional support animals (they’re the most common household pet, after all), a wide range of animals can be designated as such. Rabbits, birds, miniature horses, pigs, and reptiles have all become frequent emotional support animals.
A key indicator of the effectiveness of the presence of an Emotional Support Animal in the lives of their owners is the obvious reduction in behavioral stress.
People who find themselves tensing up or becoming fearful in public situations often have those feelings mitigated in the presence of their dog or cat (as well as the other animal types mentioned earlier).
When someone has had an inordinately stressful day on the job, returning home to the companionship of a loving pet can provide much needed calming and psychological reassurance.
Positive Social Effects of Emotional Support Animals
Those who are burdened by the effects of shyness or who suffer from a sense of social isolation benefit from the presence of their Emotional Support Animal as well. When you’re accompanied by your pet, it’s often easier to meet people and enjoy the company of others.
Pets are a well-known “social lubricant,” and can greatly help to establish personal relationships and social connections.
Shyness, isolation, anxiety, tension, and fear of social awkwardness can all be erased by the presence of an Emotional Support Animal.
Feelings of personal security
We know that crime is a nationwide problem. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small town or a big city; we are all vulnerable to those who would seek to victimize us.
An Emotional Support Animal has the ability to both deter criminal threats and to give us a sense of security about our homes and our daily activities outside the home.
Nothing is more stressful or anxiety-producing that feeling threatened. Having your Emotional Support Animal—regardless of size or species—goes a long way toward providing a much-needed sense of personal security.
Ending feelings of isolation
Much of our lives today are conducted in total anonymity. Long past is the era when we knew all of our neighbors, their children’s names, and where they hid the key to their front door. We no longer leave our doors unlocked (for a good reason).
We have, in many ways, become a society of rigidly isolated individuals whose only commonality is watching the same “evening news.” But having an Emotional Support Animal in your life means you always have a friend nearby — someone whom you love and who loves you in return.
There’s a reason that dogs are called “man’s best friend.” They simply love being with you and they love you unconditionally. Cat lovers have the same experience; a few furry strokes and the purring you’ll hear is a genuine expression of appreciation and devotion.
Many of us suffer periods of serious, life-threatening trauma in the course of our lives. Whether through military service, as a crime victim, suffering financial distress, divorce, or the loss of a family member, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) is a very real part of daily life for many.
Akin to the effects of PTSD, chronic depression can paralyze someone to the point where they simply don’t want to leave the house, go to work, or interact with other people.
These people often do very well in the company of an Emotional Support Animal and are able to go about their lives without feeling like they’re under a cloud of misery, fear, and worry.
Emotional Support Animals are accepted everywhere
Wanting or needing to have an Emotional Support Animal in your life is nothing to be ashamed of or to avoid. If you feel better petting a dog, cuddling with a cat, talking to a parakeet, or feeding a lizard, you’re a good candidate for the ongoing sense of security and companionship that only a pet can bring.
In recognition of the benefits of Emotional Support Animals, laws are now on the books making it possible for you to live almost anywhere you want and to fly on airlines going anywhere in the country in the direct contact with your designated pet.
This is why you see high school teachers and college professors on campus today in the company of their dogs. Outdoor cafes now cater to patrons with dogs, even putting out treats and water bowls for their “canine customers.”
More people are seen in every neighborhood in the country walking dogs today. The stress-reduction and health benefits alone are profound. Walking your dog is good for your dog and good for you.
Being certified for an Emotional Support Animal
Emotional Support Animals are widely recognized as helpful in reducing the stresses of our daily lives through their ability to provide unconditional acceptance, companionship, and comfort.
But in order to get the proper documentation that allows you to take your pet into many public places, live with you in the majority of rental situations, and travel with you in the passenger compartment of U.S. airlines, you need a valid and authentic ESA Letter.
This is a documented prescription written by a licensed mental health professional indicating that an individual will experience certain emotional and psychological benefits while in the company of and enjoying the companionship of a personal pet, including dogs, cats, birds, other mammals and reptiles.
You need to legally qualify for an ESA Letter
With the help of legitimate, bona fide medical and mental health experts, your symptoms can be diagnosed under your answers to a confidential, straightforward online questionnaire.
Once your responses to brief questions have been reviewed and analyzed by these licensed health care professionals, you receive a prescription for an emotional support animal.
That prescription must be given to you on the letterhead of a professional health care provider, describe your symptoms, and the likely benefit you will enjoy in the company of your designated pet.
The prescription is for you, not for your pet, and it is transferable to any other emotional support animal you may choose.
Your ESA Letter (prescription) must be on professional letterhead and bear the state license number of the medical professional issuing it, as well as their dated signature. This ESA documentation remains valid for an entire year from the date of issuance.
During that year, you may not be discriminated against in acquiring reasonable housing or travel accommodations.
Your legitimate, legally-enforceable ESA Letter is your prescription for happiness and the ongoing enjoyment of your beloved pet.
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